The Evolution of Telecom and the
Ohio Template for Reform: 2009
The Digital Policy Institute
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306
Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D.
Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
The Evolution of Telecom and the
Ohio Template for Reform: 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary…………………………………………………… 1
1.0 Statewide Legislative Mandate…………………………………… 4
By Robert Yadon, Ph.D., Michael Hanley, M.A. and Barry Umansky, J.D.
1.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………… 4
1.2 State Reform Movement Begins…..…………………………………………… .. 6
1.3 Early Deregulation Results………………………………………………………. 7
1.4 Beyond Video Franchise Reform………………………………………………… 7
1.5 Issues Still on the Table …………………………………………………………. 9
1.5.1 Eliminate Tariffs…………………………………………………………… 9
1.5.2 Extend Pricing Flexibility…………………………………………….……. 10
1.5.3 Protect Against Wireless Regulation……………………………….……… 10
1.5.4 Reform Provider of Last Resort (POLR) Regulations…………………...... 11
1.5.5 Provide for Uniform Consumer Protection………………………………. .. 12
1.6 Competition……………………………………………………………………… 12
1.7 Ohio Telecommunication Trends………………………………………………. 13
1.7.1 High-Speed Lines by State………………………………………….……. 13
1.7.2 Cable Modems…………………………………………………….…....... 14
1.7.3 DSL………………………………………………………………….......... 14
1.7.4 Fixed Wireless……………………………………………………………. 15
1.7.5 Fiber Deployments……………………………………………….............. 15
1.7.6 Video Services…………………………………………………………… 18
1.7.7 Investments in Broadband Technologies………………………………… 19
2.0 The Road Ahead: Potential Economic Impact………………..... 22
By Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D. and Russ Smith, Ph.D.
2.0.1 Background and Justification……………………………………..….… 22
2.0.2 Method…………………………………………………………………… 22
2.1 Ohio Telecom Industry Structure……………………………………………… 23
2.1.1 Demand for Services: Direction Consumers Are Going…………………. 23
2.1.2 A Dynamic Consumer Flight from Wireline to Wireless……….……….. 23
2.1.3 Internet Access Demand: Residential and Business…………….………. 24
2.1.4 Demand for Services – How Do Ohio Residents Use Broadband?........... 24
2.1.5 Demand for Services – Ohio Business Usage of Broadband……………. 26
2.2 Market Conduct: Competition and Investment………………………………. 29
2.2.1 Many Broadband Competitors………………………………………...…. 29
2.2.2 Degree of Competition…………………………………………………… 30
2.2.3 Evidence of Ohio Competition-Spurred Investment…………………...… 30
2.2.4 Why the Big Investment Push? ................................................................. 33
2.2.5 The Magnitude of Capital Expenditure…………………………………... 33
2.3 Economic Benefits: The Evidence and Implications for Ohio………………… 34
2.3.1 Findings of Other Economic Studies…………………………………….. 34
2.3.2 Implied Ohio Benefits Due to Broadband Growth………………………. 36
2.3.3 Range of Ohio Benefits of Broadband Deployment……………………… 37
2.3.4 Implications………………………………………………………………. 40
3.0 Conclusions and Recommendations…………………………….. 42
A.1 Reference Tables……………………………………………………………….. 46
A.2 About the Authors…………………………………………………………..….. 48
A.3 About the Ball State University Digital Policy Institute…………………..…… 51
The Evolution of Telecom and the
Ohio Template for Reform: 2009
Absent meaningful reform legislation at the federal level, a number of Midwestern states
have independently acted to remove outdated legacy regulations and correct imbalances caused
by increased competition in the telecommunication industry since 1996. Ohio’s neighboring state
of Indiana passed the most comprehensive telecom reform bill in over two decades in 2006.
Drawing upon recent reform legislation in Iowa, Texas, Ohio and Michigan, Indiana’s
new legislation, including statewide video franchising, is recognized as the legislative template
for other states to follow. Now, two years after deregulation in Indiana, competition in the
market has held consumer prices in check, new capital investments have occurred, and consumer
complaints are negligible.
Ohio’s continued commitment to regulatory reform is best captured by the passage of
Senate Bill 117 in 2007, establishing uniform franchising standards for Ohio. As with Indiana
and a number of other Midwest states, Ohio’s legislation passed with strong bi-partisan support
and improved the competitive landscape for video and data services. Now it’s time to address
legacy regulations that sustain growing imbalances in the telephone market, which are anti-
competitive, and inhibit outside capital investment and innovation for the Buckeye State.
In 1996 Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and established the
preconditions for efficient competition in the telecommunications marketplace. What Congress
didn’t do, as economist Alfred E. Kahn suggests in his 1998 book, is prescribe a regulatory off
ramp as the deregulated marketplace rapidly changed the competitive landscape.1 Later, in a
2007 speech before the Federal Trade Commission, Kahn stated that continued comprehensive
regulation of the telephone industry is not only unnecessary, but will likely “harm ratepayers by
inhibiting competition and diminishing investment.” 2
There are a number of legacy regulations in Title 49 of the Ohio Revised Code that
should be eliminated, or revised to encourage competition, innovation and outside capital
investment. The major reform findings and recommendations of this paper are as follows:
Kahn, Alfred E. Letting Go: Deregulating the Process of Deregulation, or: Temptation of the Kleptrocrats and the
Political Economy of Regulatory Disingenuousness (Institute of Public Utilities and Network Industries, Michigan
State University, 1998).
Remarks of Alfred E. Kahn before the Federal Trade Commission (Feb. 13, 2007). Available at
o Eliminate archaic provisions and references to “telegraph company,” and repeal
duplicate references to telephone privacy and harassment already covered in other
sections of the Ohio Code (Title 29).
o Adopt new definitions for technology and services which are consistent with
current federal law, covered under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and
existing state law.
o Ohio should follow federal precedent and eliminate unwarranted tariff filing
requirements. Acknowledge the competitive landscape for telephone service and
extend pricing flexibility and repeal anti-competitive rules which inhibit
incumbents from developing customized offerings and negotiating volume and
o Consistent with the federal elimination of the bulk of state regulation of wireless,
Ohio should now streamline wireless laws to focus on carrier registration, the
collection, maintenance and reporting of pertinent information, and wireless 9-1-1
o Rules which unfairly benefit some providers at the expense of others should be
eliminated. Provider of last resort (POLR) requirements in competitive markets
which allow exclusive access arrangement for services to multiple dwelling units
(MDU) should be eliminated. As in Indiana, incumbents should be protected
from having to provide POLR services where MDU owners permit a single
provider to provide equipment, accept incentives in exchange for exclusive rights,
or charge occupants for services.
o Ohio should eliminate confusion over consumer protection requirements and, for
the sake of efficiency, consolidate jurisdiction under a single state agency already
charged with resolving consumer complaints for other competitive industries.
The impact of these reform measures can be significant. Streamlining regulations in the
information technology sector to encourage continued investment in broadband would improve
o By including both the physical investment benefits and the productivity-
enhancing benefits of broadband, between 15,000 and 30,000 jobs per year are
supported or created in Ohio due to broadband investments.
o Ohio businesses and consumers are moving toward broadband and away from
traditional wireline technology. Achieving sufficient broadband infrastructure will
allow for a critical mass of Ohio broadband users to develop and adopt
o Encouraging a complete broadband infrastructure dovetails in with Ohio’s
Strategic Economic Development Plan. According to the state’s plan, “Digital
connectivity is a major contribution that state government makes to the process of
developing a state’s economy.”
o In the narrowest sense, an investment of $1 million in broadband results in the
creation of between 18 and 50 jobs in Ohio. This measure of impact is due solely
to the physical investments made in broadband technology and hardware.
o There is a productivity-enhancing or economy-transforming nature that
accompanies broadband. The high speed and ease of information flow may result
in reduced costs or more efficiencies of production. Broadband’s deployment has
widespread impacts on Ohio’s economy since its speed and data transmittal
capacity are desired by all types of Ohio businesses and consumers.
o The Ohio reform effort is timely given the finite investment dollars available by
carriers during strained economic times. Only those states that support a level
playing field can expect to attract new outside investment capital. Ohio should
move with dispatch to create an environment that attracts these limited investment
1.0 Statewide Legislative Mandate
By Robert Yadon, Ph.D., Michael Hanley, M.A. and Barry Umansky, J.D.
For nearly 100 years the Federal government has been involved in the regulation of
telephone companies, using the statutory framework established earlier for railroad common
carriers. The U.S. Congress began such regulation with the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910.3 Title II
of the Communications Act of 19344 continued and expanded this regulation and went on, over
the course of many decades, to extend such regulation to other forms of telecommunications.
Title II establishes the rights and responsibilities of common carriers – regulations that can affect
carrier revenues and limit the discretion and flexibility normally accorded commercial operations
and commercial transactions.
For much of the past two decades, however, federal regulators have been attempting to
deregulate much of the telephone industry. Nonetheless, and on myriad occasions, these efforts
have been thwarted in the courts as judicial bodies have rejected – as inconsistent with the FCC’s
statutory mandate – federal agency initiatives seeking to rely less on intrusive regulations and
rely more on marketplace forces in a competitive environment. Among several such examples
were efforts to reduce regulation of carrier-provided services and to eliminate the mandatory
tariff filings for some carriers. Starting in 1979, the FCC attempted to “forbear” from many
forms of regulation of non-dominant carriers. However, the courts consistently rejected5 these
and related deregulatory steps.
This series of judicial impediments led to increasing pressure on Capitol Hill to amend
the governing federal statute to allow reduced regulation and greater reliance on the forces of the
market. However, as discussed below, federal statutory changes over a dozen years ago have not
worked to afford needed deregulatory relief for all carriers. Indeed, it has become evident that
reforms at the state level now are needed to achieve that which the federal government has failed
to provide – reduced regulatory authority and activity, resulting in an equitable and consumer-
benefiting competitive landscape for all competing carriers. Thus, federal deregulatory steps
now must be complemented by needed and “corrective” state regulatory reform.
The Telecommunications Act of 19966 was the first major overhaul of
telecommunications law in almost 62 years. The goal of this new law was to remove the legacy
control of the federal court from AT&T’s divestiture, encourage new technology and
competition in the marketplace, and thereby improve services. While a number of positive
events occurred, an unintended outcome of this legislation was the creation of an imbalance in
the landscape of the telecommunications industry. New entrants in the marketplace were not
only encouraged, but allowed to grow at an unprecedented rate at the collective expense of
regulated incumbent services providers and, ultimately, the consumer. That is, the benefits
envisioned by the drafters of the 1996 Act have not been realized. Indeed, the competitive
P.L. No. 61-218, Section 7, 36 Stat. 539,544 (1910.
Communications Act of 1934, P.L. No. 73-416, 48 Stat. 1064 (1934).
See, e.g. MCI v. FCC, 765 F.2d 1186 (D.C. Cir. 1985), AT&T Co. v. FCC, 978 F.2d 727 (D.C. Cir. 1992).
P.L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996).
imbalance between incumbent and competitive carriers has been exacerbated in the years
following federal regulatory reform.
According to Matthew Hisrich, a policy analyst with the Buckeye Institute:
The current [regulatory] system has created an environment where rules and
regulations that were originally intended to foster greater competition actually
hinder it by favoring one company over another. Congress had no way of
knowing that today's telecommunications market would be so vastly different. In
today's market, consumers have a variety of new choices that were not available
to them in the past. Local providers now compete with cable, satellite and
wireless companies for consumers' communications needs.7
Here is a case in point. Cable prices have risen 77 percent since 1996, roughly double the
rate of inflation, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report released in May 2008.8
This isn’t a surprise for most cable subscribers in the Midwest. It is a reflection of a failed
national telecommunication policy that deregulated the cable industry in 19929, and consistently
supported cable’s monopolistic pricing, plus horizontal and vertical integration within the cable
industry. Technological change and marketplace forces have changed the telecom landscape
since 1996, but national policy has not kept pace and U.S. consumers are paying the price.
Drilling down, here are a few recent examples of cable rate increases in Ohio
communities that have dwarfed inflation for a decade and more.10
o In Findlay, the cost of cable service soared 67 percent from 1999 to 2007.
o Dayton subscribers saw rates increase 47 percent between 2000 and 2006.
o In Canton, the cost of cable increased 41 percent between 1999 and 2007.
o Akron cable rates have risen nearly 40 percent since 2000.
Back in 2003, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report that found that
only through direct, head-to-head competition between cable firms and wireline competition
would cable bills be lowered by 15 percent for basic and expanded basic services. Further, the
report went on to find that competition from satellite alone would prove ineffective in impacting
cable rates. For intermodal competition, the report concluded that head-to-head wireline
competition would prove 40 times more effective than satellite alone when it comes to impact on
Matthew Hisrich, “Ohio lawmakers should loosen telecom restrictions,” Business Courier of Cincinnati. February
Matt Richtel, “Cable Prices Keep Rising; Customers Keep Paying,” The NY Times, May 24, 2008. Available at
Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, Public Law 102-385--Oct. 5, 1992
U.S. General Accounting Office (U.S. GAO), Issues Related to Competition and Subscriber Rates in the
Cable Television Industry, October 2003; Telecommunications: Issues in Providing Cable and Satellite Television
Service, October 15, 2003.
In spite of mounting evidence, Congress was reluctant to remedy these market
imbalances. States like Indiana and Ohio could passively await national telecom reform at the
federal level. History suggests, however, that any federal action on telecom deregulation would
be subject to lengthy Congressional debate and lobbying pressure from all sides that, over time,
have only delayed enactment of effective reform legislation. Therefore, absent any timely federal
mandate for effective reform, change would have to begin at the state level. This has been the
path taken in many states, and the results have been the effective and rapid creation of fair
competition, increased services, reduced or stable prices and expanded benefits for consumers.
1.2 State Reform Movement Begins
In 2005, Texas became the first state to enact a statewide video franchising law.
Senate Bill 5 was passed by the Texas Legislature and signed by the Texas Governor Rick
Perry on September 7, 2005.12
In response, the Digital Policy Institute (DPI) at Ball State University issued a report
entitled, The Economic Impact of Telecom Reform in Indiana: 2006.13 This report substantiated
earlier research, including independent studies by federal agencies, major universities and think
tanks, all of which came to a similar conclusion. Only direct, head-to-head competition would
lead to increased capital investment, increased broadband services, new jobs, and potential lower
costs for Indiana consumers.
On March 14, 2006, Indiana became the second state to enact statewide franchising when
Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law the state’s most comprehensive telecom bill (HEA
1279) in more than two decades. With strong bipartisan support, Indiana’s new reform
legislation, including statewide video franchising, became a legislative template that over 20
other states would follow.
In turn, on June 25, 2007, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed into law Senate Bill 117
establishing a similar statewide uniform video franchising standard for the Buckeye State.
Again, the new law passed by large bipartisan majorities in both the Ohio Senate and Ohio
House, and became effective on September 24, 2007. Not only was the competitive landscape
improved in Ohio for video services and data, for the first time small municipalities and
townships were allowed to collect franchise fees.14
Today, over 50 percent of the U.S. population is now covered by new statewide video
franchise legislation, encouraging competition for consumers and new investment in
infrastructure. In competitive markets, cable prices are being either reduced or held in check as
new bundled service offerings provide economic efficiency for consumers across all services.
The other early states to enact reform laws were: Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio.
Available at DPI’s website, www.bsu.edu/digitalpolicy.
The prohibition against franchising for small jurisdictions, fewer than 500 potential customers, was repealed under
1.3 Early Deregulation Results
While the impact of Indiana’s telecom reform legislation continues to be evaluated over
time, the effects of reform were documented in a second report by DPI entitled, An Interim
Report on the Economic Impact of Telecommunications Reform in Indiana, released on February
15, 2008.15 In the nearly two years since passage of HEA 1279, the report uncovered a number
of positive post-HEA 1279 events that, collectively, help to gauge the impact of deregulation for
Indiana citizens and the Indiana economy.
These early findings included the accelerated deployments of digital subscriber line
(DSL) services in more than 100 new rural Indiana communities, collective capital expenditures
of more than $516 million in new infrastructure, new competition for video in multiple markets
in Indiana, more than 2,200 new jobs created for Hoosiers, and, finally, a positive impact on
price in the marketplace.
For Ohio, the early results from video reform (SB 117) alone are equally impressive (see
Video Services pages 18-19). Thirty five companies have been granted video-service
authorizations by Ohio’s Department of Commerce since September 2007. Of the state’s 42
incumbent service carriers, AT&T alone has a commitment to invest $500 million in new
infrastructure, including new fiber deployment, expanded broadband services and network
upgrades. As in Indiana, AT&T is completing work to modernize its remaining 22 central
offices, primarily in rural areas, with broadband DSL technology. Over 470 jobs have been
created by AT&T to upgrade the network and introduce video competition to Ohio. As of
September 2008, AT&T’s U-verse is available to 600,000 living units in Ohio, and the firm is
offering competitive video and broadband data service in parts of nearly 200 Ohio
1.4 Beyond Video Franchise Reform
The issue of telecommunication reform is not limited to video services and statewide
franchising. There are a number of legacy regulatory issues that now deserve attention in Ohio’s
competitive marketplace. In Indiana, for example, the comprehensive deregulation of HEA 1279
had its origins in recent legislation in Iowa (telephone rate deregulation) and Texas (statewide
video franchising) and followed actions taken in Ohio and Michigan.17 By mixing and matching
the best from surrounding states, Indiana was able to craft meaningful reform legislation that
went beyond statewide video franchising and deregulated telephone rates.
In Table 1 below, the key differences between current Indiana legislation and Ohio law
are highlighted by reform issue. Data presented suggest areas where Ohio can streamline legacy
regulations that are no longer necessary, remedy imbalances in the competitive landscape, and
provide an improved regulatory framework that encourages outside capital investment in
broadband infrastructure and services.
Available at DPI’s website, www.bsu.edu/digitalpolicy.
1.4 Table 1
Telecom Reform Issues Cross Comparison
Indiana vs. Ohio18
Reform Issue Indiana Ohio
Basic local exchange services to
businesses with less than 4 lines and
Eliminate Tariffs No action needed.
to residential consumers require
Primary basic residential service
Extend Pricing Flexibility No action needed.
requires pricing flexibility.
Protect Against VoIP
No action needed. No action needed.
Commission jurisdiction to impose
Protect Against Wireless
No action needed. utility regulation on wireless
services should be eliminated.
Eliminate POLR requirement in Eliminate POLR requirement in
competitive markets other than competitive markets. Allow
multitenant nonresidential providers of last resort flexibility to
Reform Provider of Last
settings. Allow option for utilize most efficient technology.
provider to become POLR in high Allow option for provider to
cost markets and receive support become POLR in high cost markets
from explicit funding mechanism, and receive support from explicit
if necessary. funding mechanism, if necessary.
Broadband Deployment No action needed. No action needed.
Streamline existing regulations and
assign sole jurisdiction for
Provide for Uniform
No action needed. consumer protection to agency with
responsibility for consumer
protection in competitive industries.
Table adapted from Hance Haney and George Gilder, “More Broadband, Increased Choice and Lower Prices
Begin With Regulatory Reform,” Discovery Institute, August 2008, p. 34. Available at:
1.5 Issues on the Table
Beginning on a positive note, Ohio seems to be mindful of the need for reform and to
remove legacy regulations that, over time, become anti-competitive and negatively impact
economic growth and development in the information age.
Ohio has an unfortunate reputation for red tape and bureaucracy
that needs to be addressed to ensure we are competitive with other
states and countries that are competing for the same jobs and
1.5.1 Eliminate Tariffs
As discussed earlier, the theory of tariff regulation dates back to the Interstate Commerce
days and was eventually incorporated in the Communications Act of 1934 under Section 203.
Tariffs are nothing more than the published and approved list of rates, charges and services that
telephone carriers promise to deliver. Considered necessary under the early, pre-divestiture
monopoly structure of the telephone industry, tariffs were useful to ensure that subscribers were
aware of the scope, nature and price of services in an open, nondiscriminatory manner. Once
approved, customers were required to pay the tariff rate as a matter of law.20
The FCC had indicated its interest in eliminating tariffs – and other regulatory structures
deemed unnecessary by the agency – since the time of divestiture; but, as noted above, the
agency was rebuffed by a series of court cases. As a result, the legacy statutory provisions of
Section 203 of the Communications Act of 1934 remained in effect. For the past 20 years,
however, there was a growing belief that tariffs were anti-competitive. The opportunity for
regulatory relief finally came with the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which
required the FCC to examine tariff rules and forebear enforcement if it found that the rules were
not necessary to (1) ensure that carrier rates remain just and reasonable; (2) not necessary for
consumer protection; and (3) the public interest would be served by eliminating the tariffing
In its 1996 Detariffing Order, the FCC finally concluded that it was no longer necessary
to allow long-distance carriers to file tariffs because it would decrease incentives for innovation,
make it harder to offer discounts and customized service arrangements, and increase the potential
for coordination in price setting.21 On April 28, 2000, the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit)
upheld the Commission’s orders requiring detariffing of interstate, domestic, interexchange
services, and the FCC’s detariffing rules went into effect.22
Regulatory Reform Task Force Report (The General Assembly of the State of Ohio), approved December 17,
2008. Available at: http://www.gongwer-oh.com/127/regdraft.pdf.
AT&T vs. Central Office Telephone Inc., 524 U.S. 214 (1998).
Policy and Rules Concerning the Interstate, Interexchange Marketplace Implementation of Section 254(g) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 11 FCC Rcd 20730, 20779 (1996).
MCI WorldCom, Inc. et al. v. FCC, 2000 WL 390520, No. 96-1459 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
Since then, individual states have begun a process of systematically eliminating tariffs.
The necessity for reform should be obvious. By maintaining tariff requirements, incumbent local
exchange carriers (ILECs) are forced to provide advance notice to competitors of impending
changes in price or service levels. In turn, rivals can preemptively react to circumvent and
thereby negate the announced offering. This anti-competitive requirement instills an artificial
imbalance in the marketplace and reduces the incentives both for the incumbent and the rival to
In the Midwest, for example, Indiana has eliminated tariffs for all services, and Michigan
has detariffed everything except primary basic residential service. Ohio has begun the reform
process and lifted tariff requirements for advanced and toll services, as well as basic local
exchange services provided to business customers who have four or more access lines, but it
needs to de-tariff basic local exchange services to business customers with less than four access
lines as well.
1.5.2 Extend Pricing Flexibility
In a competitive marketplace, the artificial requirement to offer similar terms to all
customers, a vestige of common carrier regulation, prevents incumbents from developing
customized offerings and negotiating volume and term discounts. While there is full pricing
flexibility in Indiana, Ohio has only passed pricing flexibility for all but primary basic residential
service, dealing with the latter on a case-by-case basis.
In May 2008, for example, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved
the request of AT&T Ohio for pricing flexibility of basic local telephone service and caller ID in
four telephone exchanges, but denied a request in seven other exchanges. In December 2008, the
PUCO approved Embarq’s request for pricing flexibility in 25 telephone exchanges, and also
approved Cincinnati Bell’s request in four exchanges.
In a competitive landscape, where wireline incumbents are continuing to lose telephone
market share to other providers (cellular, cable, CLEC, and VoIP services of non-facilities based
competitors), new marketplace conditions suggest that absent barriers to entry for competitors,
primary basic residential services require full pricing flexibility.
1.5.3 Protect Against Wireless Regulation
For the most part, in 1993 Congress eliminated state regulation of wireless systems.23
While most states in the Midwest have eliminated state oversight of wireless services, including
Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, Ohio retains authority to regulated wireless service to
the extent allowed by federal law. The mobility of wireless communication transcends state
boundaries and questions the efficiency of utility-style state regulation of a highly competitive
wireless marketplace. For example, there is ample evidence of a sharp decline in mobile
telephone prices in the period since the launch of PCS service. Pricing decreased slightly in
47 U.S.C. §332(c)(3).
2007, which likely reflects continued price competition in the market.24 Ohio’s legacy wireless
regulatory loophole should be eliminated.
1.5.4 Reform Provider of Last Resort (POLR) Regulations
Provider of last resort (POLR) is a regulatory theory established in states in the mid‐
1990s, when competition was introduced into the local telephone market and the original
ILECs exclusive franchises were taken away. It is a provider that: (1) holds a certificate of
territorial authority issued by the state utility commission; and (2) is required to offer local
exchange service throughout a defined geographic area.
In a 2008 report, Haney and Gilder suggest a problem arises when regulations impose
costs on some providers but not others. The requirement to act as a provider of last resort where
the market is competitive and consumers can choose between multiple providers is
anticompetitive.25 For example, if a CLEC is allowed to cherry pick exclusive service in a
housing development or office park, two problems come to mind. First, the ILEC who is under
POLR obligations may be forced to maintain costly facilities to service only one or two
subscribers in these areas or developments. Second, the CLEC may later go bankrupt or decide
to no longer provide service. An ILEC who is still under POLR obligations would therefore be
required to provide costly service in that area, one in which it was initially denied access to place
Indiana addresses most of these concerns under HEA 1279. Indiana Code now protects
incumbents from having to provide communications service to occupants of multitenant,
nonresidential real estate if the owner, operator, or developer of the property does any of the
following to benefit another provider:
(1) permits only one provider to install communications facilities or equipment on the
(2) accepts incentives from a provider in exchange for allowing the provider the
exclusive right to provide service to the premises;
(3) collects charges from occupants for communications service; or
(4) enters into a prohibited agreement with a provider.
In high-cost areas where a provider of last resort is necessary to deliver basic service, the
provider should be allowed to choose the most efficient technology in delivering this service,
such as VoIP or a wireless technology.26
Consumer wireless rates have declined 35.6% since 1997. See the FCC’s Annual Report and Analysis of
Competitive Market Conditions With Respect to Commercial Mobile Services (released January 16, 2009) at
Hance Haney and George Gilder, “More Broadband, Increased Choice and Lower Prices Begin With Regulatory
Reform,” Discovery Institute, August 2008, p. 26.
Indiana Code IC 8-1-32.4
The answer for Ohio is to eliminate POLR requirement in competitive markets. Like
Indiana, Ohio should allow flexibility to utilize most efficient technology and, if necessary, also
allow funding support in high-cost areas if a provider elects to become a provider of last resort.
1.5.5 Provide for Uniform Consumer Protection
While state public utility commissions have a long history of dealing with quality of
service issues, in a deregulated, competitive environment they are not the normal avenue for
addressing complaints. In fact, empirical studies do not find a relationship between incentive
regulation and service quality. The conclusion is there is no significant impact of any regulatory
policy on telephone service quality.27 The marketplace provides adequate incentives for
providers to: (1) maintain quality of service levels; and (2) capitalize investment in network
expansion and new services. Ohio already has adequate consumer protection laws governing
other competitive industries.28 Consumer protection laws for telecommunication service
providers should be handled in a uniform manner by a single state agency, like the Attorney
General’s Office, that is already charged to resolve consumer complaints and enforce consumer
After passage of HEA 1279, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has no
jurisdiction over quality of service issues. Likewise, Ohio should avoid the confusion of
duplicate jurisdictions and assign sole responsibility for consumer protection to the agency with
jurisdiction for consumer protection in other competitive industries.
State regulators know that competition and regulation exist at opposite ends of a
continuum. In the purest sense, competition and regulation are incompatible. Knowing the
moment when economic conditions warrant corrective action is the key.
With the Telecommunications Act of 199629 the federal government began the formal
process of deregulating the telecommunication industry and encouraging competition across
services. As early as 1998, former regulator and noted economist Alfred E. Kahn wrote a book
on the deregulation process and noted that regulation is frequently anticompetitive and
discourages heavy investment in network facilities.30
Kahn suggests that genuine deregulation will produce real competition and big consumer
benefits, but much of it will take time. He wrote that the best thing regulators can do, after
establishing the preconditions for efficient competition, is “get out of the way. They have got to
David Sappington, “The Effects of Incentive Regulation on Retail Telephone Service Quality in the United
States,” Review of Network Economics, Vol. 2, Issue 4 –December 2003.
Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
P.L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996).
See, Kahn, Alfred E. Letting Go: Deregulating the Process of Deregulation, or: Temptation of the Kleptrocrats
and the Political Economy of Regulatory Disingenuousness (Institute of Public Utilities and Network Industries,
Michigan State University, 1998).
resist their inbred tendency to micromanage everything and to proclaim great consumer benefits,
publicly, while doing everything they can to conceal the costs.”31
Robert W. Crandall, noted economist of the Brookings Institution, advised policymakers
to deregulate completely in his 2005 book, Competition and Chaos.
The economic lesson from the history of regulation is that regulation and competition
are a bad emulsion. Once the conditions for competition exist, it is best for regulators to
abandon the field altogether. This is particularly true in a sector that is undergoing rapid
technological change and therefore requires new entry and new capital. The politics of
regulation favor maintaining the status quo, not triggering creative destruction.32
Later, in a 2007 speech before the Federal Trade Commission, Kahn confirmed that the
transition [in the telecom industry] is complete and that comprehensive regulation of landline
phone services is both unnecessary and will likely harm consumers by inhibiting competition and
The next section will present the competitive landscape for telecommunication in
Ohio and help determine if, as the economists suggest, now is the time to complete the
reform agenda and open Ohio markets to expanded services and new capital investment.
1.7 Ohio Telecommunication Trends
This section reviews the status of broadband service availability and investments in seven
areas: high-speed lines by state, cable modems, DSL, fixed wireless, fiber deployments, video
services and investments in broadband technologies. (See Table 3, page 18 for data table.)
1.7.1 High-Speed Lines by State
Ohio is the 7th largest state by population34 and ranks 8th in the US for the number of
high-speed (broadband) lines as of December 31, 2007, according to FCC data.35 High-speed
lines are connections to end-user locations that deliver services at speeds exceeding 200 kbps in
at least one direction.
From December 1999 to December 2007 (the most recent FCC reporting period), Ohio
added 4.6 million high-speed lines, with an annual average growth rate of 27 percent (see Table
2). In comparison, Indiana, which ranks 19th for the number of high-speed lines by state with
2.75 million, had an annual growth rate during the same period of 38 percent.36 Interesting,
Indiana’s growth rate for high-speed lines was 90 percent since the implementation of telecom
See, Crandall, Robert W. Competition and Chaos (Brookings Inst. 2005) at 166.
Remarks of Alfred E. Kahn before the Federal Trade Commission (Feb. 13, 2007). Available at
U.S. Census Bureau State & County QuickFacts
FCC Form 477 – Table 10, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
reform in June 2006 through December 2007. Ohio’s high-speed lines grew by 87 percent during
the same period.
1.7.2 Cable – Modem
While many states are experiencing a slowdown in the growth of broadband via cable
modems, Ohio’s high-speed cable modem lines grew by 26.5 percent from June 2006 through
December 2007. Ohio’s growth rate was slightly higher than the national growth rate of 25
percent. Indiana’s cable modem lines declined by 10 percent during the same period, in part
reflecting the growth of non-cable broadband services since deregulation in 2006.37
Cable modems represented 32.5 percent of all of high-speed technology line categories in
Ohio at the end of 2007. That compared to 30 percent nationally.
There were 19 providers of high-speed cable modem service in Ohio during 2007, the
same as during 2006. That placed Ohio 14th nationally (tied with Kentucky and Pennsylvania) for
the number of cable modem providers per state.38
High-speed cable modem service was available to 98 percent of Ohio residential end-user
premises where cable systems can provide cable TV service, as of December 31, 2007. 39
High-speed lines connecting homes and businesses via digital subscriber lines (DSL) to
the Internet and other telecommunication services increased 19 percent in Ohio during 2007,
growing from 863,961 to 1,028,827. ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) lines, which are used primarily
for residential service, accounted for all the growth. SDSL services, which are used primarily by
businesses for services such as video conferencing, declined 13.6 percent from 5115 to 4415.40
According to FCC data, 84 percent of residential end-user premises with access to high-
speed services in Ohio had DSL available as of December 31, 2007, a six percent increase over
the end of 2006. Ohio ranked 8th for the number of ADSL lines of the 45 states reporting at the
end of 2007, the same as 2006.41
The number of residential DSL service providers in Ohio grew to 44 at the end of 2007,
up from 37 at the end of 2006. DSL accounted for 50 percent of residential broadband high-
speed lines in Ohio in 2007, an increase of nearly five percent since 2006. SDSL providers
declined from 20 in 2006 to 18 in 2007.
In comparison, Indiana’s growth of DSL lines from the start of telecom deregulation in
June 2006 to December 2007 was 43 percent, versus 36 percent for Ohio during the same period.
FCC Form 477 – Table 12, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
FCC Form 477 – Table 11, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
FCC Form 477 – Table 14, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
The gap between the penetration of new DSL versus cable modem broadband lines in
Ohio continued to narrow in 2007. There were 165,566 DSL lines added between 2006 and
2007, a growth rate of 19 percent, compared to 194,847 cable modem lines, an increase of 15
percent. DSL and cable, for the first time, both accounted for 32 percent of residential high-speed
1.7.4 Fixed Wireless
The number of high-speed fixed wireless lines and wireless Internet service providers
(WISPs) in Ohio has grown significantly since 2006. According to FCC data, there were 19,417
high-speed fixed wireless lines as December 31, 2007, an increase of 6,680, or 52 percent, over
Nationwide, Ohio ranked 11th for the number of fixed wireless lines at the end of 2007, of
the 41 states reporting. As of December 31, 2006, Ohio ranked 14th nationally for the number of
fixed wireless lines, of the 42 reporting states.44
The total number of WISPs in Ohio, according to the FCC, has not grown since 2006.
There were 16 WISPs serving Ohio residential and business customers at the end of 2006, the
same as 2007. In June 2005, there were 17 WISPs serving Ohio. According to the Web site
WISP Directory.com, there are 57 WISPs listed as serving Ohio residents and businesses.45
Conversely, Indiana, since the inception of telecom deregulation in June 2006, has seen a
surge of WISPs. According to an analysis of the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
(OUCC) Broadband Service Provider Search Web site, in 2008 there were 68 WISPs serving
Indiana residential and business customers, a 187.5 percent increase since implementation of
HEA 1279 in June 2006.46
1.7.5 Fiber Deployments
When it comes to Ohio’s future business expansion and economic development, a
necessary ingredient to be competitive in the information economy is a robust, statewide network
of high-speed fiber infrastructure. Fortunately, Ohio can boast of having one of the most robust
statewide educational, governmental and commercial fiber optic networks in the country. Some
In Northwest Ohio, the Independents Fiber Network and thirteen community-based
networks formed the BNG Optical Transport Network. BNG network members operate a 400-
FCC Form 477 – Table 11, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
FCC Form 477 – Table 9, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
FCC Form 477 – Table 8, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
OUCC Broadband Service Provider Search Web site. http://www.in.gov/oucc/utilsearch/. The information on the
site is current as of November 8, 2006 and includes active service providers that are known to the OUCC.
Information on the site states that the OUCC does not endorse or sponsor particular providers and cannot guarantee
that information on providers' Web sites is correct, complete or up to date.
mile fiber network delivering voice, video and data services. In December 2008, Corning and
Horizon Chillicothe Telephone signed a Corning Connected Community Program agreement to
support the deployment of optical fiber in Darbyville. The network will bring broadband Internet
access to the village of less than 300 residents.47
In Central Ohio, the City of Dublin created DubLink, a fiber network for public groups
and private businesses, as an economic development tool. In part because of DubLink, Ohio
State University established medical research facilities and Qwest, Nationwide, Verizon
Wireless, OhioHealth, and Battelle have located and expanded their presence in Dublin.48
In Northeast Ohio:
o American Fiber Systems provides commercial fiber optic services in the Greater
o First Telecom Services provides telecommunications infrastructure development
and management services to businesses in Akron, downtown Cleveland and the
Greater Cleveland area, Toledo and Youngstown.50
o The Medina County Port Authority is building an 88-mile fiber optic ring that will
provide a wholesale platform for retail broadband services to a wide variety of
o OneCommunity fiber network serves the Greater Cleveland area and connects
more than 1500 sites in 22 counties. OneCommunity, a nonprofit organization,
serves educational, governmental, research, arts and cultural, health care, civic
and other nonprofit organizations.52
To help spur economic development in Southwest Ohio, Butler County built a 120-mile
fiber optic backbone network throughout the county. The Butler County Fiber Network, built in
2002, connects the cities of Oxford, Hamilton, Middletown and Evendale to a high-speed
broadband network. Neighboring counties have followed suit and the network is now available
throughout the Cincinnati-Dayton region.53
The backbone of Ohio’s educational and research fiber networks is OSCnet, a dedicated
high-speed fiber optic network that serves K-12, colleges and universities, hospitals and public
broadcasting. With more than 1,850 miles of fiber, it is the most advanced statewide research and
education network in the nation. It is managed by OARnet, the networking division of the Ohio
Supercomputer Center, which provides videoconferencing, Internet2 connectivity, engineering
consulting and satellite trailer networking systems for remote Internet connectivity. OSCnet was
Press release: Corning and Horizon Chillicothe Telephone Bring Broadband to Darbyville, Ohio.
City of Dublin, Ohio Web site. http://www.dublin.oh.us/econdev/dublink.php
American Fiber Systems Web site. http://www.americanfibersystems.com/
First Telcom Services Web site. http://www.firsttelecomservices.com/Who_We_Are/index.html
OneCommunity Web site. http://www.onecommunity.org/
Butler County Alliance. http://www.butlercounty.biz/Fiber.htm
merged in 2007 with a new state and local government networking initiative to create the
Broadband Ohio Network.54
Rural Ohio’s access to fiber optic cable via OSCnet got a boost in 2007 with the
awarding of more than $35.4 million in grants to four regional telehealth networks, representing
the largest state share of funding among the 42 states and three U.S. territories receiving awards
through the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program.55
The four telehealth projects are:
o The Southern Ohio Healthcare Network - $13.9 million to provide connectivity to
about 60 facilities by building or purchasing fiber optic rings, as well as to
provide connectivity to facilities outside the reach of the rings. The network will
impact 15 counties: Adams, Athens, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson,
Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington.
o The Northeast Ohio Regional Health Information Organization - $11.3 million to
expand and upgrade an existing network to connect 19 medical facilities. The
network will impact 22 counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Carrolton, Columbiana,
Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning,
Medina, Portage, Sandusky, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and
o A consortium of eight healthcare facilities in southeastern Ohio, Holzer
Consolidated Health Systems, which began receiving $1.8 million to upgrade its
existing network to a broadband fiber-optic network. In August 2008, the Holzer
project merged with the Southern Ohio Healthcare Network project. The regional
SOHCN network will initially impact Gallia and Jackson counties.
o The statewide West Virginia Telehealth Alliance, which will receive $8.4 million
to connect approximately 450 West Virginia healthcare facilities, reaching
Internet2 through OSCnet connections to Marshall University in Huntington,
New deployment of fiber optic technology to nonprofit organizations, governmental units
and municipalities, rural communities and businesses allows for high-speed digital Internet
services, and offers new opportunity for fiber backhaul necessary for deployment of new
wireless technology. Ohio’s fiber diet is a testimony to its forward-thinking development efforts
and recognition as a good place to do business in the information age.
OSCnet Program Review. Available at: http://www.osc.edu/oscnet/project_overview/index.shtml
Four telehealth networks will leverage OSCnet to aid Ohio communities. Available at:
1.7 Table 2
Ohio High-Speed Lines by Technology
June 2000 – December 2007
(Over 200 kbps in at least one direction)
Traditional Cable Fixed Line &
Ohio ADSL SDSL Fiber Total
Wireline Modem Wireless Other²
12/31/2007 1,024,412 4,415 14,368 1,498,317 7,349 19,417 * 4,612,073
6/30/2007 945,096 4,722 18,124 1,405,899 15,876 13,573 * 3,956,535
12/31/2006 858,846 5,115 19,625 1,303,470 19,235 12,737 * 3,186,537
6/30/2006 752,633 5,392 18,693 1,184,924 19,046 11,669 * 2,392,030
12/31/2005 663,011 5,316 22,082 1,064,948 18,655 8,997 * 1,889,878
6/30/2005 555,749 6,097 21,850 961,119 24,130 12,722 * 1,505,272
12/31/2004¹ 455,336 * * 804,712 * * 86,992 1,347,040
6/30/2004 369,386 * * 709,145 * * 79,256 1,157,787
12/31/2003 303,969 * * 597,442 * * 76,475 977,886
6/30/2003 243,689 * * 508,458 * * 69,788 821,935
12/31/2002 205,140 * * 435,404 * * 69,811 710,355
6/30/2002 151,612 * * 363,675 * * 64,791 580,078
12/31/2001 112,527 * * 264,031 * * 60,208 436,766
6/30/2001 87,567 * * 213,606 * * 57,792 358,965
12/31/2000 55,046 * * 127,692 * * 47,603 223,845
6/30/2000 33,603 * * * * * * 156,888
Source: FCC Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Deployment Statistical Reports.
¹FFC data reporting methods changed beginning 2005
² Other includes wireline technologies other than
1.7.6 withheld Services firm confidentiality ADSL, optical fiber-to-the subscriber's premises, and terrestrial wireless systems.
*Data Video to maintain
1.7.6 Video Services
1.7.6 Video Services
With the passage of Senate Bill 117 in September 2007, Ohio created a video-service
authorization process. The Ohio Department of Commerce was given jurisdiction to grant state-
issued video-service authorizations to replace local cable franchise agreements. Satellite
television providers are not included in the new authorization process.
Since the video-service authorization process began, 36 companies have applied for, and
35 have been granted, video-service authorizations that cover 87 of Ohio’s 88 counties.56 Of the
35 companies granted video service, 14 are ILEC telephone companies, 3 are cable companies
and ILEC telephone companies, and 18 are cable companies (see Table 3).
Within three months after passage of the video-service legislation, 26 companies had
filed for authorizations. The first company to receive a video-service area authorization was
AT&T on November 7, 2007.
The companies receiving video-service authorizations for the most counties include Time
Warner cable (84 counties), and AT&T (20 counties). More than one-half of the companies (19)
received video-service authorizations for two or fewer counties. Only one county – Adams
County – has no current authorized video-service provider.
1.7.7 Investments in Broadband Technologies
During the past few years carriers have increased investment in their respective
broadband networks. AT&T, for example, is investing $500 million in Ohio as a result of video
service area reforms. Over the next several years, the company says it will continue to invest in
fiber network upgrades, further broadband deployment and Internet-based technologies to bring
new services to Ohio consumers.
AT&T also reports that new jobs have resulted from the video service reform efforts and
the expansion of its U-verse broadband video service. Several hundred jobs throughout the state -
at least 470 from AT&T alone - have been created to upgrade the network.57
Nationally, AT&T has announced plans to spend $17 billion to $18 billion in 2009 on
network improvements. Approximately two-thirds of the investment will extend and enhance the
company's wireless and wired broadband networks to provide more coverage, speed and
capacity. To support increased customer demand in mobility, broadband and video, the company
plans to add nearly 3,000 jobs in 2009.58
Verizon, operating under an alternative regulatory plan approved by the Public Utilities
Commission of Ohio, has invested more than $13.5 million since 2006 to bring broadband access
to more than 37,000 additional phone lines across the state. In 2008, Verizon installed high-
speed Internet equipment, based on digital subscriber line (DSL) technology, at 48 company
communications facilities across the state.59
Verizon Wireless continues to invest in its Ohio wireless broadband network. In October
2008, the company expanded the rollout of its 3G high-speed wireless network to portions of
Ohio Department of Commerce Video Service Regulation. http://www.com.ohio.gov/admn/vsa/
AT&T Ohio Marks One-Year Anniversary of Statewide Video Reform Legislation; Rapid Deployment of AT&T
U-Verse Benefits Ohio Consumers. Available at: http://www.att.com/gen/press-
AT&T to Invest More Than $17 Billion in 2009 to Drive Economic Growth. http://www.att.com/gen/press-
Verizon press releases. Available at: http://newscenter.verizon.com.
Athens, Vinton, Jackson and Meigs counties. The addition of the broadband wireless network to
23 cell sites follows a nearly $17 million network investment Verizon Wireless made in this area
earlier in the year. In June 2008, the company announced it had activated 46 new cell sites
throughout these markets. The wireless broadband network will enable Verizon Wireless
customers to access the wireless Internet, email, mobile music, and videos from laptops and
Since 2000, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $1.4 billion on improvements to its
network in Ohio, including investing more than $258 million in 2008 and making the following
o 126 new cell sites were activated statewide to improve network coverage and
o Equipment on 211 existing cell sites throughout the state was upgraded, which
further improved network capacity.
o The company’s high-speed wireless broadband network was expanded to 329 cell
sites across Ohio.
Embarq and CenturyTel, with the recently announced approval of their merger by the
Ohio Public Utilities Commission, plan to invest missions in service upgrades in Ohio. Embarq’s
net capex is expected to be less than $300 million company wide for the first six months of 2009
(guidance was given only for six months pending completion of the merger with CenturyTel).
CenturyTel expects its system-wide capital expenditures in 2009, excluding any Embarq-related
acquisition, integration or post-closing capital expenditures, to be between $280 and $300
million, in line with 2008 capital expenditures of $287 million.
Cincinnati Bell reported $51 million in capex expenditures in 2008 in its Wireless sector,
which were essentially flat for the year. The company reported year-over-year growth of 1
percent in its postpaid wireless subscriber base, to 551,000 customers at the end of the fourth
quarter. Year-over-year DSL subscriber growth equaled five percent. At the end of the fourth
quarter 2008, Cincinnati Bell had 233,000 DSL subscribers. 61
Clearwire Corporation brought its residential and business wireless broadband Internet
service to Ohio in August 2007. Clearwire's service area includes Dayton, Beavercreek,
Bellbrook, Centerville, Englewood, Fairborn, Franklin, Huber Heights, Ketterling, Miamisburg,
Middletown, Oakwood, Springboro, Springfield, Tipp City, Trotwood, Troy, Vandalia, West
Carrollton, Wilmington and Xenia.
The company is building the first, nationwide 4G mobile Internet wireless network. Plans
call for expanding its high-speed mobile WiMAX network across 80 US markets in 2010, and
launching a dual mode 3G/4G modem this summer giving subscribers access to a nationwide 3G
mobile data network.
Verizon Wireless. http://news.vzw.com/news/2009/01/pr2009-01-28f.html
Cincinnati Bell. http://www.cincinnatibell.com/aboutus/news/articles/news.asp?page=20090205.asp
1.7.6 Table 3
Ohio Video-Service Authorizations by County, 2007-2009
Type Company Counties
Cable Armstrong Cables Services Ashland, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Richland, Wayne
ILEC Arthur Mutual Telephone Company Definance, Paulding,
Clark, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Geauga,
ILEC AT&T Ohio Greene, Hancock, Lake, Licking, Lucas, Medina, Miami,
Montgomery, Pickaway, Portage, Stark, Summit, Union, Wood
ILEC Ayersville Telephone Company Defiance
ILEC Bascom Communications, Inc. Seneca
Cable Block Communications Inc. Erie, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Wood
ILEC Buckland Telephone Company Allen, Auglaize
ILEC Cincinnati Bell Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Warren,
Cable Comcast Paulding
Cable Comcast of Illinois/Indiana/Ohio, LLC Mercer
Cable Comcast of Illinois/Ohio/Oregon, LLC Belmont, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning
Cable Comcast of Ohio Belmont, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning
ILEC Conneaut Telephone Company, Inc. Ashtabula, Lake
Cable Cox Communications Cuyahoga
Cable East Cleveland Cable TV and Communications, LLC Cuyahoga
ILEC FJ Communications, Inc. Putnam
ILEC Glandorf Telephone Company Putnam
Both Horizon View Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto
Cable Insight Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Pickaway
Cable Massillon Cable TV, Inc. Stark, Summit, Wayne
ILEC McClure Telephone Company Henry, Lucas, Wood
ILEC Middle Point Home Telephone Company Van Wert
New Athens TV Cable Company; Morristown TV
Cable Belmont, Harrison, Monroe
Cable Company; and Richards TV Cable Company
Both Orwell Communications Allen, Ashtabula, Hancock, Henry, Paulding, Trumbull
Cable Powhatan Point Belmont
Cable Quality One Technologies, Inc. Allen, Putnam,
Cable Rapid Communications Astabula, Gallia, Geauga, Noble, Perry, Washington
Both Shertel Cable, Inc. and SMTA Definance, Paulding
Cable Suddenlink Communications Guernsey, Monroe
Cable Suddenlink Communications Geauga, Jefferson, Portage, Trumball
Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Auglaize, Brown, Butler,
Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana,
Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware,
Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga,
Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison,
Henry, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Knox,
Cable Time Warner Cable, LLC. Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison,
Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe,
Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa,
Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Richland,
Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit,
Trumball, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert, Vinton, Warren,
Washington, Wayne, Williams, Wood, Wyandot
ILEC TSC Communications, Inc. Allen, Auglaize
ILEC Wabash Mutual Telephone Company Mercer
Cable WideOpenWest Cleveland, LLC Cuyahoga
Cable WideOpenWest Ohio, LLC Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Union
2.0 The Road Ahead: Potential Economic Impact
By Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D. and Russ Smith, Ph.D.
2.0.1 Background and Justification
Outdated Ohio regulatory-induced behavior may be driving greatly needed capital
investment in the wrong direction. In markets that have very little or no competition, the
government typically imposes regulations as a surrogate for competition. Despite significant
increases in competition in recent years, Ohio telecoms – and in particular incumbent local
exchange carriers – are still encumbered with outdated regulations generated by the Public
Utilities Commission of Ohio. Such regulations may be inappropriate; they are effectively a tax
that precludes a more prudent use of scarce resources for appropriate investment.
We believe that market-driven investments in broadband would be in the public interest
and benefit Ohio. Other research explores the taxing effect and investment-distorting effects of
some telecommunications regulations.62 This report has a limited scope. We review research
conducted on the economic impact potential of broadband, a key component to Ohio’s
information infrastructure. Benefits of market-driven capital investments in Ohio are deduced
and provide policy makers with better decision-making information.
Kleinhenz and Associates was engaged by the Digital Policy Institute to explain how
updating the regulatory requirements will benefit the Ohio public. This will be accomplished by
employing economic theory and information obtained from published literature as well as the
Ohio industry itself. Kleinhenz and Associates describes the current market conditions and
provides implied benefits of updated regulations based upon previously published reports and
data provided by the Ohio telecoms.
The report is organized into four parts. The first section offers a description of the Ohio
telephone market. Market structure (intramodal and intermodal competitors, i.e., wireline,
wireless, and VoIP), investment, and pricing are explored. The second part reviews research
conducted regarding the benefits of telephone industry investments. No such study has been
done in Ohio but other findings, both nationally and at the state level, are offered. The third part
of the study offers a description of the types and magnitudes of benefits one might expect to
come about due to an increase in broadband investment in Ohio. Finally, conclusions are offered
as to the state of industry competition and benefits of technological reinvestments.
Cited in Hazlett et al, 2004.
2.1 Ohio Telecom Industry Structure
2.1.1 Demand for Services: Direction Consumers Are Going.
With the growth in suppliers and technologies, consumers have many choices. Based
upon Ohio data, they are choosing to pay more and to “go wireless”. From the peak of 7 million
residential phone lines in 2001, Ohio Telecoms reports that 18% of those customers are now
wireless only. Furthermore, 76% of all Ohio residents have a wireless phone and are willing to
spend, on average, $69 per month for the service. This compares to the $39 per month consumers
pay for regulated, local phone service. Lastly, there are 3.7 million more wireless subscribers
than landline subscribers.63 Wireless subscribers have increased at a rate of 11% per year since
2.1.2 A Dynamic Consumer Flight from Wireline to Wireless
Supporting National Evidence: Nielsen, 2008, reports that 17 percent of all U.S.
households, some 20 million, are wireless “substitutors,” homes without landlines that rely solely
on wireless for telecommunications. “Cord cutters” are found to have lower incomes, smaller
households with just one or two residents, make the cut during a move or a job change and save
between $33 and $26 per month for a household of one or two.
Morgan Stanley predicts that 32% of households will be wireless by 2012, four years
from now. The firm also notes a leap in wireless data usage64
In 2005, Ohio’s most recent data, revenues from mobile wireless services were 46
percent greater than revenues collected for incumbent’s providing local exchange service.
2.1.2 Table 4
Ohio Telecommunications Revenues by Type of Service, 200565
Mobile Wireless $3,928
Excludes line charges
Ohio Telecom Association, 2008, p 8. 8.7 million wireless users in Ohio vs. approximately 5 million traditional
Morgan Stanley Research, October 1, 2008.
FCC August 2008.
USB Investment Research points to annual loss of primary residential lines of 11.5% per
year by 2009. Bernstein Research66 confirmed that in this high fixed cost industry, loss of
landlines compresses margins. Regarding the U.S. market as a whole, “as access line losses have
mounted, variable costs are shed and fixed costs remain. The remaining fixed costs are being
spread across a smaller and smaller base of fixed lines. Average cost per access line has
2.1.3 Internet Access Demand: Residential and Business
Aside from cell phones, customers want Internet access. The Federal Communications
Commission reports that in Ohio there are 2.4 million residences with broadband of some
fashion. Businesses in Ohio account for another 1.6 million customers of broadband.
Residential consumers are willing to spend, on average, $38 per month on broadband while
businesses spend, on average, $75 per month. Broadband had 770,000 new subscribers in 2007
and has averaged a blistering annual growth rate of 43% per year since 2003.67
Wide access to the Internet and broadband in particular is believed to proved social and
economic benefits. The form and amounts of growth are subjects of research and are discussed
below. There is the belief that productivity increases along with job growth and other public
benefits result from information exchange.68 To that end, broadband equipment is often placed
following existing rights of way and public services such as Wi-Fi are popular in some places.
2.1.4 Demand for Services – How Do Ohio Residents Use Broadband?
ConnectOhio69, a public-private partnership conducted a survey of Ohioans in March of
2008. They found that 76 percent of Ohio residents have a computer. More than 90 percent of
Ohioan residents have access to high-speed broadband service, but only 55 percent subscribe to
it. Furthermore, 14 percent subscribe to mobile broadband services. About 350,000 Ohio
households do not have access to broadband service. Like Internet usage, broadband is fairly
distributed among age groups with the exception of those in the “over 65” category (see Table
Bernstein Research, 2008.
Ohio Telecom Association, 2008.
Substantial research exists regarding benefits of information communication technology and is discussed in the
latter part of this paper.
http://connectohio.org/_documents/OHExecutiveSummary09182008_FINAL.pdf. The survey was carried out on
1200 residents via random digit dialing and claims a +/-3% accuracy at the 95% confidence level.
2.1.4 Table 5
Percent of all Ohio Residents
Who Access Internet from Home
60% Dial up or other
18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 and
While on-line activities are quite varied, this report focuses on transactional activities
such as purchases, banking and paying bills. Between 55 and 70 percent of Internet users at
home conduct these activities.
2.1.4 Table 6
On-Line Activities: Ohio Residents
Purchase a Book travel Pay bills Online banking Selling a
product or arrangements product or
There is a strong work-to-home linkage. More than four of 10 residents use the Internet
to work from home, either during regular business hours or in the evening. 19% of residents
subscribe to broadband because they “need to conduct business on line.” Among Ohio residents
employed full or part-time, ConnectOhio found:
o 8% operate a business at home with an Internet connection,
o 12% work at home, via the Internet instead of commuting and
o 22% work at home outside of normal business hours, often using the Internet.
There is a gap between availability of broadband in urban areas (96 percent) compared to
rural areas (79 percent). Yet, even where available, not all Ohio residents subscribe to
broadband. In the urban areas currently only 60% of residents subscribe (Table 7).
Approximately 45% of rural residents subscribe to broadband. There is also evidence of
an income barrier as about one out of three low-income families (making less than $25,000
annually) do not have a computer at home.
2.1.4 Table 7
Ohio Residents Who Have Broadband at Home
Urban Suburban Rural
2.1.5 Demand for Services - Ohio Business Usage of Broadband
Ohio businesses view the Internet as a necessity for growth. A goal stated by the Ohio
Department of Development in its Strategic Plan is to increase connectivity.70
“Connectivity rests on Internet connections that are fast and reliable. This is an essential
part of business infrastructure and a highly desirable, if not critical, requisite for Ohioans
at home and at work. Digital connectivity is a major contribution that state government
makes to the process of developing a state’s economy. Ensuring Ohio competes in the
new economy means ensuring Ohio’s cities and communities have access to the digital
information, tools, and technical assistance they need to be competitive in terms of both
opportunities afforded and amenities provided for those living or seeking to do business
In March 2008, ConnectOhio conducted a survey of 807 firms in Ohio to ascertain their
degree of computer, Internet and broadband usage.71 The survey uncovered that 82% of
businesses use a computer and 59% of businesses have a broadband service. Remarkably, 18%
of businesses reported not having a computer.
Broadband, including DSL is used by the majority of firms across all industries.
Broadband is most intensely used in the professional/finance industry in which 71 percent of
firms report subscribing. Interesting for Ohioans might be the fact that manufacturing firms
appear to be high users of computers and broadband.
Ohio, Home of Innovation and Opportunity. A Strategic Plan for the Ohio Department of Development. p.83
(Goal 4 Invest in Regional Assets)
The error interval is +/-3.4% at 95% confidence level.
It appears there is room for broadband to expand. Indeed, 11 percent of all firms
indicated they needed more broadband width. The adoption curve also depends, in part, on the
number of firms using the Internet. In fact, 41 percent of firms using the Internet reported only
using it within the last 5 years. This coincides with increasing investments made in broadband
over the same time period.
Of note is the healthcare industry. A gap exists between healthcare firms that use
computers and those that use broadband. Only 58% of healthcare firms reported using
broadband compared to 80% of the firms that use computers. The current draft of the federal
stimulus package identifies development of electronic medical records within the next 5 years as
a goal. Broadband adoption will be critical for this industry.
2.1.5 Table 8
Computer Usage by Industry Sector, Ohio 2008
(% of firms)
High Tech 86% 69%
Ag/Mining/Construction/Utility 86% 47%
Manufacturing 87% 68%
Wholesale Trade/Transport/Warehousing 84% 59%
Retail Recreation/Food/Lodging 79% 54%
Professional/Finance 86% 71%
Healthcare 80% 58%
Other Services 78% 58%
State Average 82% 59%
Source: ConnectOhio, 2008
2.1.5 Table 9
How long has the business used the Internet?
(% of firms)
<1 year 2%
1 to 2 years 8%
3 to 5 years 31%
6+ years 59%
Source: ConnectOhio, 2008
Ohio businesses use the Internet for a variety of transactions. Seventy-seven percent of
firms reported making online purchases. Training, bidding on contracts, customer support and
online tracking and control were mentioned by many firms. Telecommuting is also a factor for
broadband consideration. In Ohio, 26 percent of firms report that they have employees that
telecommute on a regular basis. Niched within those firms are broadband users among whom,
3 percent reported having employees who telecommute. This implies that 9 percent of firms in
Ohio use broadband with employees who telecommute.
2.1.5 Table 10
Broadband Adopter Internet Applications
Online purchasing 77%
Researching or booking business travel 71%
Online banking 63%
Online shipment tracking and control 62%
Online marketing and advertising 57%
Online selling or accepting orders 43%
Online billing or bill payment 45%
Online healthcare or insurance admin 39%
Online customer support 38%
Online training 31%
Online employee benefits information 28%
Bidding on contracts online 26%
Accepting real-time credit or debit card pmts 24%
Online accounting and internal auditing 21%
Online inventory tracking and control 15%
Video conferencing 14%
Online manufacturing process control 4%
Source: ConnectOhio, 2008
Broadband-users have average annual revenues double those of non-broadband users. Of
all Ohio companies, 55 percent report receiving between 1 and 15 percent of their revenues from
2.1.5 Table 11
Firms Reporting Online Sales Revenues, Ohio 2008
Percent of All Ohio
1% to 15% 16% to 45% 46% to 75% 76% to 100% No Answer
Percent of Sales Revenues from Online Sales
online sales (see Table 11). At the other extreme 4 percent of firms report they receive between
75 percent and 100 percent of their revenues from online sales.72
2.2 Market Conduct: Competition and Investment
2.2.1 Many Broadband Competitors
To meet the changing demand and technologies, the telecommunications industry is
changing rapidly and competition is fierce. Voice telephone technology is now digitized like any
other video or data stream. The ones and zeros of the digital age can be carried in a variety of
ways: traditional landlines, DSL, fiber cable, coaxial cable, wireless systems, and blended
systems. Each of the technologies may be optimal for a segment of the market, if not the whole
Large Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers account for most of Ohio’s regulated lines.
There are 35 small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers that serve approximately 5% of the
regulated lines. These smaller incumbents range in size from 500 to 30,000 access lines.
2.2.1 Table 12
Large Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers
Source: Ohio Telecom Association, 2008
The Ohio Telecom Association73 reports there is healthy competition in all facets of
telephone service. The association records 86 competitors for the consumer broadband
subscriptions and 66 competitors for traditional wireline service. Not all suppliers compete in all
markets. Furthermore, there exist overlapping carriers providing more than one service.
Only 205 firms responded to this question.
Ohio Telecom Association, 2008
2.2.1 Table 13
Types of Telephone Service Competition, Ohio 2008
Technology # Customers # Competitors
Broadband 3.9 million 86
Cell Phone 8.7 million 12
Traditional Wireline Phone74 6.0 million 66
Source: Ohio Telecom Association, 2008
2.2.1 Table 14
Types of Carrier Competition, Ohio 2008
Type of Carrier Competitors
Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers 42
Competitive Local Exchange Carriers 24
Long Distance Providers 243
Cellular Providers 12
Cable Television providers 21
Broadband Providers 86
End-user VoIP Service Providers 246
Source: Ohio Telecom Association, 2008
2.2.2 Degree of Competition
Loomis and Swann (2005) find there is substantial competition between ILECs and
CLECS. In their study, they found that regulatory constraints may place the ILEC in a weak
position. They believe that regulatory policies ought to account for the competitive effects of the
2.2.3 Evidence of Ohio Competition-Spurred Investment
Proof of competition and findings discussed earlier regarding the consumers’ flight to
wireless exist In Ohio. Ohio Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers have lost 23 percent of their
lines to Competitive Local exchange Carriers.75
Data for high speed lines in service as of 2007 show there is a high degree of competition
at the zip code level. All zip code areas in Ohio have at least three competitors with high speed
lines in service.76
OTA, Number of ILECs=42, Number of CLECs=24, total end-user lines=6 million in 2007, p7.
Ohio Telecom Association, 2008
2.2.3 Table 15
Ohio High-Speed Line Geographic Competition
Number of Number of Percent of
Providers Zip Codes Zip Codes
1 1 0
2 7 0
3 13 1
4 29 2
5 121 8
6 237 16
7 243 17
8 235 16
9 174 12
10+ 410 28
Totals 1470 100%
Source: FCC, 2009
Further evidence of the highly competitive field in Ohio is offered by the 2009 FCC
Common Carrier report. For every one high-speed service provider in the US, there is 1.6 in
Ohio. Ohio consumers, perhaps due to population density, benefits from a greater number of
high speed lines per capita as well.
2.2.3 Table 16
Ohio High-Speed Lines Per Capita
2007 Ohio US
High-speed lines per capita 0.345 0.338
Providers of high speed lines per capita 0.0000075 0.0000046
Source: FCC, 2009
Capital investment by Ohio telecoms into high-speed lines has kept abreast of California
and the US investment rate in general.
2.2.3 Table 17
High-Speed Penetration: Lines Per Capita
FCC, 2009 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2.2.3 Table 18
High-Speed Lines by State
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2.2.3 Table 19
High-Speed Lines by Type and End User77
Residential % Business % Total %
Ohio 2,634,429 57% 1,977,644 43% 4,612,073 100%
Nationwide 73,976,483 61% 47,188,828 39% 121,165,311 100%
FCC Form 477 – Table 13, December 31, 2007. Available at www.fcc.gov.
2.2.4 Why the Big Investment Push?
Under current FCC regulations telephone, wireless, television, and Internet providers are
able to compete in any market against any other. Broadband providers are not required to give
competitors wholesale access to their infrastructure so that competitors can resell services to
consumers, as is done under the regulated wireline model. Consequently each broadband
competitor wishing to stay in the market has to invest in its own infrastructure. Even with large
growth rates, broadband is only in 54% of Ohio homes, implying there is much room for further
DSL and cable are the two primary broadband technologies. Both rely on existing
infrastructure to provide Internet services. DSL has 968,000 residential subscribers in Ohio
amounting to 40% of the broadband residential market.79 DSL shares the copper wiring of
telephone service and cable shares a blend of fiber and coaxial cable (for TV service).
The existing copper line and cable line system must be upgraded by private industry if it
wishes to offer broadband.80 For DSL, the provider must install aggregation equipment
(DSLAM) that can send Internet data from the serviced area and forward it to the larger
highways of the Internet. By installing a fiber connected street cabinet, the DSL provider can
extend its service well beyond a three-mile range from the central telephone company office.
Faster downloading times are available the closer the user is to the central office and the sooner
the user is hooked into a fiber line. The DSL provider clearly has incentive to provide early
service to areas where there exist high concentrations of lines. Targeting these areas will spread
the fixed cost among many users.
For cable, the provider, often an existing cable television firm, must upgrade its networks
by adding nodes and moving them closer to residences, replacing coaxial cable the closer they
get to the residence, with fiber optic cable. These providers must also install routing, switching,
and amplifier equipment to improve data transmission. Just as with DSL, fixed costs and market
competition force broadband providers to take advantage of economies of density.
2.2.5 The Magnitude of Capital Expenditure
The telecom industry is capital intensive. Capital expenditures reportedly made in the US
by the industry exceeded $60 billion in 2006.81 Ohio telecoms have made and plan to continue
making investments in Ohio’s infrastructure in order to improve service. For an overview of
investments made, see Section 1.7.7 of this report.
The FCC, in its August 2008 report on ‘Trends in Telephone Service”82 finds that in 2005
wireless carriers invested 27 cents for each dollar of revenue collected from end users for
Ohio Telecom Association, 2008, p 13.
Ohio Telecom Association, 2008.
FCC Trends in Telephone Service, 2008, p17-3.
structures and equipment. Wireline, resellers, satellite and other carriers invested 20 cents on the
dollar. Overall capital expenditures were 25 cents for each dollar of end-user revenues.
2.2.5 Table 20
US Capital Expenditures for Structures and Equipment, 200683
Telecom Carrier Structures Equipment Total
Wireline $10,160 $21,981 $32,141
Wireless $12,648 $15,321 $27,969
Total $22,808 $37,302 $60,110
2.3 Economic Benefits: The Evidence and Implications for Ohio
2.3.1 Findings of Other Economic Studies
A study by Gaasbeck et al.84 (Sacramento State University) found that historically, a 1
percentage point increase in the share of the adult population using broadband increased the
employment growth rate by as much as 0.075 percentage points and the payroll growth rate by
up to 0.088 percentage points. The intermigration from dial-up to broadband was found to have
a similar but smaller effect.
The authors found that in 2005, increased broadband use contributed about 52,000 of the
281,000 net new jobs created in California. Migration from dial-up added another 53,000.
Combined, there was net new payroll of $5.9 billion.85 The report further assumes “a strong
increase in the proportion of the adult population using broadband (3.8 percentage points per
year)”. This assumption for California results in generation of 1.8 million jobs and $132 billion
of payroll in California over the next 10 years. They offer a “dramatic broadband growth
scenario of 7.6 percentage points per year and a scenario showing “moderate increase of 0.2
A paper commissioned by the Economic Development Administration86 found “support
for the conclusion that broadband positively affects economic activity in ways that are consistent
with the qualitative stories told by broadband advocates.” They looked at communities that had
mass-market broadband by 1999 and found that by 2002, these communities had outgrown a
control group of like communities. Growth occurred in employment (adding 1.5% to growth
rate87), the number of businesses (+0.5%88) , and business growth in the IT-intensive sectors
FCC, August 2008.
Gaasbeck et al., 2007.p.1
Gillet et al., 2006.
(0.5%). Model results were most strong at the zip-code level analysis rather than at the state-
Crandall et al, 2007 (Brookings Institution) used state-level FCC broadband penetration
data for 2003 to 2005 to estimate the effects of broadband deployment on output and
employment on the U.S. The authors found that for every one percentage point increase in
broadband penetration, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year.
Specifically, they found an average broadband line per capital of 0.12 in 2004 (12 lines per every
100 people). An increase of 0.01 lines per capita (to 0.12+0.01=0.13) was found to increase
growth in employment by 0.00223 or 0.2 percentage points. When looking over the two-year
period from 2003 to 2005, authors found similar annualized results. In both employment
models, there was statistical significance. For the entire U.S. economy, this suggested an
increase of about 300,000 jobs over a one year period. Models estimated GDP impacts were
consistent with employment findings yet were less precise and not statistically significant.
Crandall makes an elegant case for allowing unhindered investment by the telecoms. He
writes “results suggest that all levels of government should follow policies that encourage
broadband competition, which will lead to lower prices and hence greater use.” Furthermore,
“increased use will require an expansion of supply, specifically greater investment by service
providers in broadband infrastructure… It is critical that new regulatory policies not reduce
investment incentives for these carriers.”
Hazlett, et al, 2004, (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) cites a traditional capital expenditure-
to-revenue ratio of 21%89 for Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs). The same report
also cites Bureaus of Economic Analysis multipliers that suggest that for each addition $1 of
telecom capital spending there is $2.86 of extra output and every $1 million rise in telecom
capital spending leads to 18.2 new jobs.90
Hazlett also explains the spin-off benefits of high-speed communications. He writes,
“High-speed communications systems have helped corporations pursue the restructuring
activities known variously as reengineering, demand-flow manufacturing, lean manufacturing,
speed-to-market, or cycle-time reduction. These strategies show up as reduced inventories,
lower working capital, improved product quality, and increased output per hour of work - the key
drivers of long-run increases in living standards.”91
Barkey et al. 2006 (Ball State University) predicted total Indiana consumer surplus
benefits of between $136 million and $300 million depending upon assumptions of 15% and
30% declines in cable rates. The decline in rates is predicted to come about due to Indiana’s
proposed 2006 telecom/broadband reform under H.B.1279.92 The expected investment in cable
broadband would cause an increase in supply, shifting the supply curve outward to the right and
reducing the equilibrium price for cable broadband. This would result in reduced prices for
consumers and more consumer discretionary income.
Hazlett et al., 2004, p 92.
Hazlett et al., 2004, p xviii.
Hazlett et al., 2004, p xix.
Barkey et al., 2006, p.20.
The Digital Policy Institute White Paper (Ball State University) reports on the outcome of
passage of Indiana’s H.B.1279 and finds that 2,200 new jobs (as of February 2008) had been
announced by telecommunications firms as a direct result of Indian’s reform legislation. Authors
report that Indiana telephone companies made investments of $516 million in the prior 18
2.3.2 Implied Ohio Benefits Due to Broadband Growth
A good historical review of research is found in Crandall, 2007. He notes that broadband
is a mere subset of a much larger set of technologies called Information Communication
Technology (ICT). He states that ICT technology has been flourishing yet, even given its
magnitude, measuring its economic benefits has proven difficult until recently. ICT had to reach
a critical mass of usership and technology had to continue to improve. By the early 1990’s the
Internet had developed due to this critical mass and an evolution away from dial-up access.
Crandall reports several studies that find benefits from ICT at the micro, or firm, level.
Following a series of earlier studies, a capstone study, Jorgenson, 2007, found that ICT
“contributed 59 percent of the growth in labor productivity from 1995 to 2000 and 33 percent
from 2000 to 2005.” Crandall asks “Will the growth rate continue?” He points out that another
researcher, Stiroh, 2006, believes there will be a shift away from ICT capital to complementary
capital that will use ICT.
Just as was the case for ICT benefits, Crandall argues that it will take time for broadband
benefits to be accurately measured. Broadband currently faces some of the same critical mass
and investment barriers faced by ICT.
Studies reviewed by Crandall for his report are the first attempts at measuring these early
stages of broadband. Clearly there are two levels of impact. The first is that of the direct capital
investment required as mentioned above in terms of billions of dollars and millions of lines or
wireless nodes. By themselves, these investments will spur the economy and generate classic
multiplier effects of jobs, income and GDP growth.
However, there is predicted to be more. As with computers and the Internet, Crandall
and others argue that broadband technologies are expected to ultimately alter productivity and
change the way business works. Crandall and the authors reviewed by Kleinhenz and Associates
attempt to measure this second productivity-shifting, impact of broadband.
2.3.3 Range of Ohio Benefits of Broadband Deployment
An effort was made to correlate the findings from reviewed studies to the situation in
Ohio. When applying the results of the analyses to Ohio, an acceptable range of 15,000 to
30,000 jobs per year are due to broadband investments. Investments of $1 million in broadband
result in between 18 and 50 jobs. The estimates take into account broadband’s productivity-
enhancing attributes and are not limited to benefits of hardware installment. Timeframes vary
and data are not necessarily corresponding. Ohio has suffered population losses that make it
difficult to apply studies that stake a claim to broadband’s contribution to employment growth.
Although one could reasonably argue that broadband in Ohio has curtailed job loss. Results
should be seen as approximations and furthermore all occur during today’s high-growth period
for broadband. Applications are described below.
2.3.3 Table 21
Summary of Employment Impact Studies
Study Benefits as Applied to Ohio
Gaasbeck, 2007 15,000 jobs/yr between 2001 and 2005
EDA (communities w/ broadband vs. none) 30,000 jobs/yr between 1999 and 2002
Crandall, 2007 (based on lines per capita) 290 to 440 jobs per year
Atkinson, 2009 (Type II plus network effect) 19,920 jobs for a $400 million investment
Hazlett (US multiplier impact $500 million) Between 309 and 9,100 jobs
A study by Gaasbeck et al.93 (Sacramento State University) found that for the four-year
period between 2001 and 2005, there occurred a rise in broadband usage from 15% to 54% by
California adults. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics population data and assuming the same
growth occurred among non-adults, this implies that by 2005 there were 19.4 million broadband
users in California. These people now access the Internet via broadband. Modeling showed there
was a resulting increase of 198,000 jobs in California. This implies that for every 100 new users
of broadband there is a corresponding increase of 1.4 jobs in California (see Table 22).
2.3.3 Table 22
Job Creation in California from Broadband Adoption94
d = annual
a b c = axb diff e f = dxe
Additional Change in Employment
CA BB Employment Per
CA BB* User Additional
Population Usage BB Users BB User
2001 34,507,030 15% 5,176,055
2005 35,885,915 54% 19,378,394
14,202,340 198,000 0.014
Gaasbeck et al., 2007.p.1
US Census and FCC data. http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-
In 2008, 55 percent of Ohioans subscribed to broadband to access the Internet. Since this
is similar to what is reported in California (54%), we take the same growth rate of usage for Ohio
as was reported in California. Over the 2001 to 2005 time period Ohio’s population fell but the
growth in broadband usage increased by 4.4 million people. Applying the 1.4 jobs per factor, we
arrive at an estimate of 62,000 jobs created by broadband adoption in Ohio over the four-year
period (see Table 23). The number seems plausible since California reported 198,000 jobs and
has approximately three times the population of Ohio.
2.3.3 Table 23
Job Creation in Ohio from Broadband Adoption95
OH BB* Usage BB Users Change in CA Rate of Estimated
Population BB Users Empl Change in
Per BB User Employment
2001 11,450,954 15% 1,717,643
2005 11,391,298 54% 6,151,301 4,433,658 0.014 62,071
The paper commissioned by the Economic Development Administration96 found that
communities that had mass market broadband by 1999, had outgrown a control group of like
communities by 2002. Growth occurred in employment (adding 1.5% to growth rate97).
Unfortunately, Ohio lost close to 120,000 jobs from 1999 to 2002. The traumatic job losses may
have overshadowed any job growth generated from broadband. One could assume that
broadband availability shaved 1.5% off of the job loss figure. In other words, the 120,000 jobs
lost represent of job loss rate of 2% over the three year period. At this level, 1.5% would equal
90,000 jobs (120,000*1.5%/2%) over the three year period or 30,000 jobs per year.
Crandall et al, 2007 found that for every one percentage point increase in broadband
penetration, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year. His analysis
covered the years 2003 to 2005. Ohio employment increased by 29,000 jobs over that period.
For Ohio at an annualized job growth of 14,500 jobs, this translates to between 29 and 44
additional jobs per year per percentage point increase in broadband.
Ohio increased from 0.09 lines per capita in 2003 to 0.17 lines per capita in 2005,
realizing an 8 percentage point increase in broadband penetration over the two-year period.
Multiplying 8 percentage points times 29 to 44 jobs per percentage point yields between 232 and
352 jobs due to broadband access over the two-year period.
US Census and FCC data. http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-
Gillet et al., 2006.
Extrapolating the analysis even further to the year 2007, reveals that the broadband
penetration increased from 0.17 in 2005 to 0.4 lines per capita in 2007, approximately an annual
10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration. Multiplying 10 percentage points times
29 to 44 jobs per percentage point, yields 290 to 440 jobs per year due to broadband in Ohio.
Unfortunately, 2,000 jobs were lost in Ohio between the years 2005 and 2007. Assuming
Crandall et al to be correct, the growth of broadband in the state, shielded the state from even
Hazlett, et al, 2004, cites Bureaus of Economic Analysis multipliers that suggest that for
each addition $1 of telecom capital spending there is $2.86 of extra output and every $1 million
rise in telecom capital spending leads to 18.2 new jobs.98 In his paper, a $500 million
investment in broadband in the U.S. would result in creation of 9,100 jobs ($500 million x 18.2
jobs per million) nationwide. In addition, U.S. GDP will be positively impacted by $1.4 billion.
Using AT&T’s announced $500 million investment in Ohio video (broadband) deployment,
there would be a gain of 9,100 jobs within the U.S. Many of these jobs, undoubtedly, would be
realized in Ohio. At a very minimum, partitioning by Ohio’s 3.8 percent of U.S. population,
one could estimate that Ohio would, at the least, benefit from 309 jobs and $54 million in GDP.
Atkinson, et al, 2009, (The Information, Technology and Innovation Foundation) found
that a $10 billion investment in broadband across the U.S. would generate 498,000 jobs. Of
those, 268,000 jobs will be created due to the “network effect.” Authors found that broadband
itself increases business productivity, spurs upstream investment and contributes to the creation
of new industries. They claim a network effect multiplier of 1.17 will more than double the
number of traditionally calculated direct and indirect jobs. Knowing that Ohio has
approximately 4% of high speed lines, one would expect Ohio to garnish 4% of the U.S.
investment and 4% of the job benefits. This translates into a $400 million investment and 19,920
jobs for Ohio.
This report documents that Ohio businesses and consumers are moving toward broadband
and away from traditional wireline technology. Furthermore, this report notes that massive
investments are being made and will likely continue to be made within the context of Ohio’s
very competitive information technology market. The benefits of broadband to Ohio are positive
and large, fostering perhaps tens of thousands of jobs per year in Ohio. Achieving sufficient
broadband infrastructure will allow for a critical mass of Ohio broadband users to develop and
adopt productivity-enhancing practices. The authors believe it is not in the public’s best interest
to have regulations that might distort or hamper any investment in this very beneficial
Hazlett et al., 2004, p xviii.
3.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
By all relevant measures, the passage of Ohio’s new reform legislation will result in
benefits similar to those clearly predicted for Indiana in 2006.99 But, even beyond these
expected results, Ohio’s proposed legislation has created other beneficial externalities that even
further bolster the view that the legislation is needed and justified.
While capital investment by Ohio telecoms has kept abreast of the US investment rate in
the past, strained economic times will limit investment dollars in the foreseeable future. All
providers have any number of choices on where to invest, and in this environment capex dollars
will only flow to states that are set up to attract new investment.
We can conclude that if Ohio will adopt the ideal reform approach to fostering
competition and bringing service and economic advances to its citizens and its businesses, this
can advance the economic environment in the state for future business investment and job
creation. Ohio should learn from the legislative failures and shortfalls in other jurisdictions and
continue legislative reform that truly will become the model for other states to adopt and
emulate. The state must not wait for a federal solution; instead, it should take forceful action
now and begin reaping significant benefits for Buckeyes.
The drafters of Senate Bill 117 carefully observed regulatory, legislative and judicial
trends in developing a structure that minimizes regulatory delay and the substantial costs of
compliance with superfluous laws and regulations, and assures full consumer protection. The
growth in vibrant competition in Ohio is now readily apparent.
A wide range of communications policy experts have lauded Indiana’s similar experience
and have developed data underscoring the benefits of “Indiana-like” deregulation. Many states
have followed Indiana’s lead in creating a legislative and regulatory environment that spurs
competition and assigns great value to consumer choice. One salient example is that of
Connecticut, which adopted a statewide video franchising law to end what was ongoing,
protracted litigation that simply was impeding firms’ entry into video competition.
In fact, as discussed in this report, the recent behavior of past Senate Bill 117 opponents
paints a less compelling, negative picture that further substantiates the notion that Ohio’s video
reform legislation was the right step. For one, virtually all cable operators now also have filed
for statewide franchises in order to terminate, upon grant of their statewide franchises, their
existing franchises with local communities. Telephone entry into video is having a significant
competitive effect on incumbent cable operators.
If the experiences in Indiana hold true, the key elements of the proposed legislation will
become the catalyst for rapid deployment of additional broadband service in general, across
copper, fiber and wireless. Providers are finding easier entry into the video arena using their new
infrastructure to provide the entire panoply of electronic communications offerings in their
The Economic Impact of Telecom Reform in Indiana: 2006,Digital Policy Institute , Ball State University,
February 14, 2006. Available at: www.bsu.edu/digitalpolicy.
service areas. It is to be hoped that expedited entry, created by reduced regulatory and legislative
barriers, can help advance this nation’s lackluster broadband penetration status.
In conclusion, this is the beginning of the parade, not the end. Observed gains in
infrastructure investment, employment, and competition for digital broadband services will
continue in a deregulated environment that encourages not only growth for existing technologies
but welcomes deployment of new, broadband wireless solutions as well. The purpose of this
report was to document Ohio’s progress under a deregulated landscape and recommend areas for
continued improvements. As Congress considers new national policy down the road, Ohio must
continue to be diligent in protecting these statewide gains against future, poorly-crafted national
Atkinson, et al. “The Digital Road to Recovery: A Stimulus Plan to Create Jobs, Boost Productivity, and
Revitalize America,” The Information, Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2009.
Barkey, et al. The Economic Impact of Telecom Reform in Indiana: 2006, The Digital Policy Institute,
Ball State University, February 14, 2006.
Bernstein Research, U.S. Telecom: Wireline Unplugged, July 10, 2008.
Bough, Wayne T., State Economies Can Benefit from Broadband Deployment, SCE Issue Analysis, CSE
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Clarke, Richard N. and Thomas J. Makarewicz, Economic Benefits from Missoula Plan
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Crandall, Robert, et al. The Effects of Broadband Deployment on Output and Employment: A Cross-
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Indiana, A white Paper, February 15, 2008, Ball State University.
Federal Communications Commission, High-Speed Services for Internet Access: Status as of June 30,
2007. Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, March 2008.
Federal Communications Commission, Report of Cable Industry Prices, December 27, 2006. FCC 06-
Federal Communications Commission, Trends in Telephone Service, Industry Analysis and Technology
Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, August 2008.
Gaasbeck et al. Economic Effects of Increased Broadband Use in California, Summary Report. Prepared
for AT&T by Sacramento Regional Research Institute, a Joint Venture of SACTO and Sacramento State,
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Haney, Hance and George Gilder, More Broadband, Increased Choice and Lower Prices Begin With
Regulatory Reform, Digital Policy Institute, White Paper, August 2008.
Hazlett, Thomas W. et al., Sending the Right Signals: Promoting Competition Through
Telecommunications Reform, A Report to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, September 22, 2004.
Kolko, Jed, Broadband for All? “Gaps in California’s Broadband Adoption and Availability,” in
California Economic Policy Volume 3, Number 2, July 2007, Public Policy Institute of California.
Lehr, William et al., Measuring Broadband’s Economic Impact, Presented at 33rd Research Conference on
Communication, Information, and Internet Policy (TPRC), September 23-25, 2005, Arlington, VA.,
Revised as of January 17, 2006.
Litman, Barry L., and Robert E. Yadon. The Economic Impact of Video Franchising and Broadband
Investment in Michigan: 2006, The Digital Policy Institute, Ball State University, May 19, 2006
Loomis, David G. and Christopher M. Swann, Intermodal Competition in Local Telecommunications
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McClelland, David J. “The Economic Window of Opportunity,” Digital Policy Institute, White Paper,
not dated (published post 2005).
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February 1, 2007.
McClelland, David J. “The Economic Window of Opportunity” in The Economic Impact of Telecom
Reform in Indiana, 2006. The Digital Policy Institute, Ball State University, February 14, 2006.
Morgan Stanley Research, Cutting the Cord: Voice First, Broadband Close Behind, October 1, 2008.
Nielsen Company, News Release, Wireless Substitution in the U.S., September 2008.
Ohio Department of Development Strategic Plan.
Ohio Telecom Association, Telecom Competition in Ohio Biennial Report of the Ohio Telecom
Association, June 2008.
Pelcovits, Michael and Daniel E. Haar, Consumer Benefits from Cable-Telco Competition, MiCRA,
Microeconomic Consulting & Research Associates, Inc., Not dated (published post September 2006)
Pew/Internet and American Life Project, “Mobile access to Data and Information.” Data Memo, March
Pociask, Stephen B., Building a Nationwide Broadband Network: Speeding Job Growth, TeleNomic
Research, LLC February 2002.
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June 2008. GAO-08-633
High Speed Lines per Capita100
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
.California 0.08 0.12 0.15 0.20 0.33 0.47
.Ohio 0.06 0.09 0.12 0.17 0.28 0.40
.Indiana 0.03 0.07 0.10 0.15 0.23 0.36
.Kentucky 0.02 0.06 0.09 0.12 0.18 0.27
United States 0.07 0.10 0.13 0.17 0.28 0.40
High Speed Lines by State101
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
California 2,960,664 4,084,382 5,294,566 7,337,217 11,894,864 17,158,292
Ohio 705,739 972,686 1,340,976 1,932,269 3,200,543 4,612,073
Indiana 202,760 415,603 637,696 922,569 1,417,112 2,267,037
Kentucky 99,265 243,005 360,903 508,198 774,736 1,161,667
U.S. 19,441,619 27,744,342 37,352,520 51,217,519 82,809,845 121,165,311
Year Annual/ average Job Growth Percent Growth
1991 4,819 -63 -1%
1992 4,845 26 1%
1993 4,919 73 2%
1994 5,076 157 3%
1995 5,221 145 3%
1996 5,296 76 1%
1997 5,392 96 2%
1998 5,482 90 2%
1999 5,564 82 1%
2000 5,625 61 1%
2001 5,543 -82 -1%
2002 5,445 -98 -2%
2003 5,398 -47 -1%
2004 5,409 11 0.2%
2005 5,427 18 0.3%
2006 5,436 9 0.2%
2007 5,425 -12 -0.2%
2008 5,411 -13 -0.2%
About the Authors
Robert Yadon, Ph.D.
Dr. Yadon holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media from Michigan State University, and a M.S.
degree in Mass Communications from Oklahoma State University. He is a professor of
Information and Communication Sciences and a member of the graduate faculty at Ball State
University. Dr. Yadon teaches courses in technology, business aspects, and regulatory policy
issues, and he serves as the director of the Applied Research Institute. Since his arrival at Ball
State, Dr. Yadon has been involved with the early development of the Center, including primary
responsibility for funding of the Applied Research Institute and development of the Digital
Policy Institute (DPI).
Prior to Ball State University, Dr. Yadon served as the Vice President of Television
Operations at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in Washington, D.C. He also has
served as a member of the faculty at Michigan State University and the University of Oklahoma,
and has extensive leadership experience in applied research projects including NSF-funded and
FEMA-funded research. He is a senior research fellow in the Digital Policy Institute at Ball
State, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and a member of
the Computer Security Institute (CSI).
Michael Hanley, M.A.
Michael Hanley holds a M.A. in Journalism from Ball State University, and a B.A. in
Visual Design from Purdue University. He is an assistant professor of Journalism and a member
of the graduate faculty at Ball State University. Mr. Hanley teaches courses in advertising
research, advertising media planning and buying, brand development and interactive media, and
serves as the director of the Institute for Mobile Media Research. Since his arrival at Ball State,
Mr. Hanley has been involved with research in the area of mobile advertising and marketing, and
mobile policy implications.
Prior to Ball State University, Mr. Hanley spent 20 years as an executive in brand
management, advertising and marketing experience with two Fortune 500 financial services
companies (Lincoln Financial Group and Conseco), a Fortune 500 energy company (Vectren), a
national accounting and consulting firm (Crowe Horwath), and a geothermal energy systems
distributor (WaterFurnace of Indiana). He is a research fellow in the Digital Policy Institute at
Ball State, a member of the Mobile Marketing Association, co-chair of the MMA’s Academic
Outreach Committee, co-editor of the International Journal of Mobile Marketing, and a member
of the American Academy of Advertising.
Barry Umansky, J.D.
Barry D. Umansky is a professor in the Telecommunications Department at Ball State
University, following a term as the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Chair in
Telecommunications at Ball State. He is a communications lawyer who has represented
broadcasters and other electronic media and has had an extensive communications career in
government and industry. After work in college and law school at radio and TV stations in the
Midwest, he served for seven years as an attorney doing communications policy work at the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Umansky then began a
twenty-year career as Deputy General Counsel with the National Association of Broadcasters
(“NAB”) in Washington. He was in the private practice of communications law in Washington
prior to coming to Ball State in 2003.
He has been an active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and
currently is on the Board of Trustees of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Foundation and
the Board of Directors of the Broadcast Education Association. In addition to teaching
responsibilities and heavy involvement in university governance, Mr. Umansky is faculty advisor
to three Ball State student organizations: “Station WCRD,” the “Pre-Law Interest Group” and
“Media Matters.” He also is a senior research fellow at the Digital Policy Institute at Ball State.
Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D.
Jack Kleinhenz. Ph.D. is CEO of Kleinhenz & Associates and Regional Economist and
Lecturer at Weatherhead School of Management. Kleinhenz & Associates is a business and
economic consulting and an investment advisory firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. The firm
specializes in industry studies, forecasts, regional economic and labor market issues, strategic
planning and business plan development.
Jack has over 25 years of broad‐based experience working with Fortune 500 companies,
financial service companies, regulators, planners, universities, airports, manufacturers, chambers
of commerce, trade associations, non‐profit organizations and state and local government
agencies. He is known for translating economics and information into clear explanations and
action. Jack speaks on business and regional economic issues and is regularly called upon for his
expertise by the local and national media. Formerly with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland,
Jack recently served as chief economist and consultant to the Greater Cleveland Growth
Association, the nation’s largest chamber of commerce. He teaches economics as a faculty
member of Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
A graduate of John Carroll University, Jack earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics
from the University of Notre Dame. In 1995, Jack was named one of John Carroll University’s
Top 50 School of Business Graduates. Previous faculty appointments include the University of
Notre Dame and John Carroll University. He was awarded the title of National Association for
Business Economist (NABE) Fellow in October 2008. Jack is a member of the Governor of
Ohio’s Council of Economic Advisors and the Northeast Ohio Council of Economic Policy
Advisors, trustee of Notre Dame College, and a corporate director for Beverage Distributors, Inc,
Cleveland, Ohio. A former NABE board member he is chairman of the NABE Education
Foundation and a member of NABE’s statistics committee that meets regularly with
policymakers and administrators of United States statistical agencies.
Jack is also a contributing economic forecaster to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago,
the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and a NABE Outlook panelist. Jack has been
recognized by the Chicago Fed for forecasting excellence in 2000‐2003, 2004‐2007 and in June
2008. His 2003 US economic forecast received the most awards and his June 2008 forecast
received the award for best GDP forecast which he also received in 2005. Contact Jack at 216
321‐9522 or www.kleinhenzassociates.com.
Russ Smith, Ph.D.
As a research consultant and associate with Kleinhenz & Associates, Inc. Russ is
involved with economic development and market studies. For the better part of three years
performed cost/benefit analysis of research tasks funded by the Gas Research Institute. In this
capacity he assessed benefits of safety standards as well as benefits of software and hardware
development. The results of his work are used by the Gas Research Institute to measure
organizational productivity (Corporate Performance) and file annual reports with the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission. He has also been a Principal Investigator of a research project
for the Illinois Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition assessing the economic impact on the state of
Illinois of upcoming federally mandated clean fueled vehicle purchases. He was Principal
Investigator of a cooperative bio-fuels project with the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago
Police Marine Unit, and the Chicago Dept. of Environment.
At Chicago State University, Russ taught in the Department of Political Science and
Economics and served as an Extension Research specialist in Ohio and an Economist at the
University of Illinois at Chicago. Russ earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Ohio
State University and a Masters in Agri-Business also from the Ohio State University. He holds
an undergraduate degree from the American University.
About the Digital Policy Institute
The Digital Policy Institute (DPI) serves the 21st century as an independent,
interdisciplinary association of faculty who have a collective interest in digital media. These
interests include the structure of, and competition within, electronic communication industries
and further include the public policy issues of digital creation, storage, transmission, reception,
consumption, and legal intellectual property protection of digital information.
The DPI is a vehicle for faculty research that coalesces around the arenas of law,
regulation, economics, intellectual property, and technology as these relate to public policy
issues of local, state and national interests.
For more information, please visit the DPI website at: www.bsu.edu/digitalpolicy.
The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the individual authors and the Digital
Policy Institute alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Ball State University
or Case Western Reserve University.